Today we looked at a drug company battle between Pfizer which manufactures Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering drug with annual sales over thirteen billion dollars, and Zocor, a competitor from Merck which costs significantly less than Lipitor (a three-month supply of the generic version Zocor costs a little over thirty dollars, compared to over two hundred dollars for the equivalent amount of Lipitor). With an estimated fifteen million Americans currently taking a cholesterol drug, this is a huge issue for the country.
While the spot touched specifically on statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs), it also raises the overriding issue of generic brand medications. I feel like it is tough to know which drugs can be substituted with a generic brand and which you should stick to the name brand.
In this spot Dr. Steven Nissen from the Cleveland Clinic put in his two cents: "When there are not proven benefits we oughta try to reduce the cost of healthcare by using the least expensive drug that will get the job done."
I'm interested in your thoughts on this topic - good or bad experiences you may have had with generic drugs, any confusion you've faced in choosing medication...send in your comments.